Lyon backflips on Origin attitude - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lyon backflips on Origin attitude

By Adrian Warren and Liam FitzGibbon 04/05/2009 05:34:38 PM Comments (0)

Jamie Lyon has had a remarkable representative change of heart, saying he'll happily play State of Origin for NSW if picked.

The Manly star also said he was "raring to go" when he plays for NSW Country in Friday's clash with City in Orange after being selected despite saying repeatedly he wanted to be left out of all representative teams this season.

Lyon put in a formal application to be exempt from the representative calender but it was rejected by the Australian Rugby League at the start of the season and on Monday he said he was now happy to be a part of it.

Quizzed on his initial reluctance to commit to rep footy, centre Lyon said: "That was at the start, but I've been picked and I'm raring to go and really looking forward to the game."

Asked if would be giving everything for Country, he said: "Yeah for sure, as most people know I'm from Wee Waa and I've got a lot of country blood so I'm really looking forward to putting the jersey on."

The versatile 27-year-old, who was a key figure in Manly's title charge last year, stressed he had accepted ARL policy.

"I put the letter into the ARL at the start of the year for the rep footy and they denied it," Lyon said.

"They are the rules and I will stick by them and if I play well on Friday and if I'm picked (for NSW) I will definitely play and give 100 per cent."

Country coach Laurie Daley rated Lyon "a wonderful player and probably the best centre in NSW" and admitted he likely would have picked him even if he was unsure of his commitment.

"He (Lyon) is in NSW's best 40-squad but in the best 17 for his country, so I would've picked him and it would have been a call for him," Daley said.

"But that's something that we don't have to worry about, because he's embraced it, he's come in and he's been great actually.

"I spoke to Jamie and Jamie gave me his commitment that if selected he will play, so that's the line we are down.

"I've got to say, he's been terrific so far, the last 24 hours he couldn't have done any more.

"He's come with a smile on his face, he's been enthusiastic and I think you will see Jamie Lyon play an outstanding game on Friday night."

Daley's squad arrived in Orange on Monday but was forced to undergo a reshuffle with three players ruled out.

St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward earned a call-up in place of Dragons teammate Ben Hornby, who failed a medical test on a thigh injury.

Dragons centre Matt Cooper (hip) and Newcastle backrower Steve Simpson (knee) were also ruled out.

Wests Tigers backrower Chris Heighington was named to come in as Simpson's replacement, with Dragons centre Beau Scott likely to go from 18th man to replace Cooper and Melbourne prop Brett White also joining the squad.

Country coach Laurie Daley said it was a tough call to rule out the trio.

"You run the risk when you have guys like that in your team of them not being right and then you've got to call someone up at the last moment," Daley said.

"You've got to make a judgement call ... those guys are all disappointed we ruled them out but unfortunately that's the way it has to go with a short preparation."

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